Friday, September 15, 2006

Bajaj is working on a 150 cc-ungeared scooter

Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto Ltd, which discontinued production of its only ungeared scooter Wave, will re-enter the segment with a set of ungeared scooters ranging from 75-125 cc in the first quarter of next fiscal.

Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj confirmed to FE the company's move to launch ungeared scooters. Analysts say Bajaj is also working on a 150 cc-ungeared scooter.

Over the last decade Bajaj has shifted gear from a primarily geared scooters producer to a largely motorcycle manufacturer. As a result, it had lesser focus on this segment since the consumer preference was also moving towards motorcycles.

However, in recent times, ungeared scooters have made a comeback, forcing Bajaj to rethink its strategy.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, during April-August 2006-07, the scooter (75-125cc) segment, dominated by ungeared variants, grew 22.80% to 3,14,459.

The segment is led by Japan's Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), which registered a growth of 27.47% by selling 1,55,398 units during the period. HMSI has Activa (102 cc) as its flagship brand in this segment.

During the period, Hero Honda Motors sold 34,083 units of its new scooter model, Pleasure (102 cc). Another major player TVS Motor sold 1,03,025 units of scooterette, Scooty (75cc) recording a growth of 15.87%.

Bajaj Auto saw the sales of its lone offering, 110 cc Wave, decline 71% from 21,781 units in April-August, 2004-05.